The Data Knowledge Information Privacy Protection Initiative (DKIPPI) has called for a review of the National Identification Management Commission (NIMC) data storage system.

In an interview with the Newsletter Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, DKIPPI’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Tokunbo Smith, expressed concerns following NIMC’s statement that five websites are allegedly harvesting Nigerians’ data fraudulently.

VERIFIED: Nigerians can now earn US Dollars with premium domains just like Americans, acquire for as low as $1200 and you profit $19000 (₦23million). Click here to start.

Smith, who is also a Data Protection Controller, spoke in response to the recent alarm raised by the Paradigm Initiative, which claimed that some websites are selling Nigerians’ National Identification Number, Bank Verification Number, and International Passport details, among others.

In a statement issued by its Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Kayode Adegoke, NIMC identified the websites involved in the illegal data harvesting as idfinder.com.ng, Verify.Ng/sign in, championtech.com.ng, trustyonline.com, and anyverify.com. However, the commission assured that Nigerians’ sensitive data had not been compromised as claimed by the Paradigm Initiative.

Smith suggested that the data harvesting issues faced by NIMC could be prevented if the data storage were based in Nigeria. “It is time for Nigeria to look inward and encourage local content to avert challenges of data harvesting,” he stated. He emphasized the importance of having the NIMC storage infrastructure managed within Nigeria by qualified and experienced professionals, robust infrastructure, and secure platforms.

“We face such issues when the right steps are not taken before awarding contracts. At this point, there is little or nothing that the Data Protection Commission can do. This is why I have always emphasized the need for the NDPC to be independent of any ministry or minister but to report directly to the minister,” Smith added. He also highlighted the need for NIMC employees to be trained and held accountable for non-compliance with policies.

NAN reports that the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Mr. Bosun Tijani, announced that an investigation has commenced into the alleged breach of Nigerians’ data stored by NIMC. In a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday, Tijani stated that both NIMC and the National Data Protection Commission have begun a probe into the matter.